More than 100 buildings in Palmerston North need to be strengthened after the council identified them as earthquake-prone.
The council found 109 of the 135 commercial and residential buildings checked so far are at a greater risk of collapse in a moderate earthquake compared to modern buildings.
They include the All Saints Church, Cafe Cuba, and the city's old RSA building.
Owners who have accepted assessments will need to strengthen their building to at least 67% Building Code over the next 15 to 30 years.
The council says most owners have yet to respond to the assessments.
Buildings are defined as earthquake-prone when they fall below 33% of the Building Code requirements for new buildings.